These days, I'm taking inspiration from The Middle East in my preparation of simple speedy suppers.
I've paired a tabouleh-style salad with some grilled halloumi cheese, which is one of our favourite pantry ingredients. This salty cheese, invented by the Greek Cypriots, is best served grilled; it brings out its best flavours, and alleviates the slightly rubbery texture the cheese has if served uncooked. This week's aubergine pitta is my version of a TV dinner. Grab your portable pitta suppr and settle in on the sofa in front of your favourite show.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
250ml vegetable stock
2 heaped tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
8 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
Half red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
The juice of half a lemon
250g block of Halloumi cheese
1 tablespoon of honey
Half red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped.
1. Start by gathering all your ingredients and doing any necessary chopping (the parsley, tomatoes and onions).
2. Make a tablouleh-style salad by placing the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot vegetable stock and allow the couscous to absorb the stock for about 15 minutes, mixing with a fork a few times so that the couscous doesn't clump.
3. Add the chopped parsley, tomatoes and onion to the couscous. Add the oil and the lemon juice, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well until the flavours are combined. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and set aside until ready to serve.
4. Slice the halloumi block into 6 to 8 slices. Heat a griddle or frying pan and cook the cheese on both sides until golden brown.
5. Arrange the cheese on top of your salad. Mix together the honey and the red chilli and drizzle over the halloumi and salad.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 small aurbergine
Half teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of yogurt
1 teaspoon of Harissa paste
2 small pittas
2 tablespoons of hummus
3 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
Freshly chopped parsley
1. Cut the aubergine into 6 rounds. Brush each slide of the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of olive oil on your griddle pan or frying pan. Cook the aubergine slices for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper towel until ready to serve.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and harissa paste.
3. Slice an opening in your pitta and pop it in a hot oven (or even a toaster) for a few minutes to warm through.
Spread some hummus into each pitta. Stuff each pitta with three aubergine slices and some chopped cherry tomatoes. Top with a dollop of harissa yogurt. Serve topped with some freshly chopped parsley.